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Commentary

An Abuse of Federal Grant Monies: ‘Start By Believing’ Violates Constitutional Rights to Due Process



One of the reasons people believe in the Deep State—government bureaucracies that are said to wield power from the shadows—is because there is little transparency in so many agencies.

With a constant flooding of agencies and programs that implement their policies, even seasoned political observers find it difficult to keep track of what is really going on. The program Start by Believing is an example. Few people have heard of it.

Launched in 2011, Start by Believing describes itself as a “global campaign” with the mission of “transforming the way we respond to sexual assault.” Its focus is in the U.S.

The program is an offspring of End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI), which is supported by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW); EVAWI has reportedly received 20 grants from the DOJ, totaling $7,502,332.00, which is “supplemented with other sources of income.”

EVAWI’s grants reveal that, from early days, the organization’s main goal has been to influence law enforcement. A 2006 grant from Horizons Foundation, for example, is entitled “Online Training Institute: Continuing Education for Law Enforcement.”

Material issued by Start by Believing—EVAWI’s implementation arm—reveals a marked bias in favor of “victims,” who are overwhelmingly viewed as female. Meanwhile, the National Crime Victimization Survey (2014) found that 38 percent of sexual violence is committed against men, and that figure does not include the prison population.

Start by Believing dismisses men in another manner. It strips them of a constitutional right and foundational protection of justice: due process.

The name of the program, “Start by Believing,” is a rewording of the demand to “Always Believe the Victim,” which automatically grants every accuser the status of true victim.



Wendy McElroy is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. Her books include the Independent Institute volumes, Liberty for Women: Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-First Century, and Freedom, Feminism, and the State.


From Wendy McElroy
LIBERTY FOR WOMEN: Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-First Century
With its vision of individualist feminism, Liberty for Women boldly explores a wide range of issues that confront the modern woman, including self-defense, economic well-being and employment, sex and abortion, the family, technology, and much more.







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